advice on shooting certain facial features


TPF Noob!
Jan 12, 2007
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Hi all-

Does anyone know of a book that teaches you how to pose people with certain prominent facial characteristics? For example, how do you position a subject (or yourself) with a large nose? Or a small chin? Or very large (or small) eyes? Or very chubby cheeks? Or a large forehead? (I could keep going....) LOL

As you may have guessed, I have a shoot coming up with a quasi-celeb and sadly, she has quite a beakish nose. Just wanna make her look fab! ;)

I don't know of any books in particular...I'm sure there must be some though.

A few quick tips. Obviously, if you want to avoid drawing attention to a large nose (long) then don't shoot it in profile...but shoot it head on.

Also, the longer the lens, the better. Longer focal lengths will compress features while wide angle lenses will accentuate back up and shoot long.

Another option is using a lot of Photoshop...but some people find this immoral or offensive. And even though celebrities have their photos edited all the have to be careful of changing how they look because it will be very evident to anyone who knows (or think they know) what that person actually looks like.
Use a wide angle, get in close and shoot profile, this will prompt her to get a nose job so she looks fine in future, hee hee. H
I really do not think a book on this is needed, just a little experience and common sense.

I mean, if you take a picture of someone's honker or overly abundant breasts from the side, what do you think it will appear like in the pic?

There is not a tremendous amount you can do about the other features (besides bcoming a master at PS), but overly large traits, you try to shoot them in such a manner that they appear reduced but shooting "head on". Logically, undersized features can be taken from an angle, increasing their prominence.

I will say this... 90% of the time, the person getting their picture taken KNOWS they have the prolific proboscus of Cyrano or a chin that out-sizes Jay Leno's... don't try to drastically alter them, It may initially look better to you, but to them and others, it will not appear natural or correct.

I've talked to several wedding photographers who had to shoot "queen sized" brides and did nothing more than make sure not to emphasize their generous proportions. One bride had a great sense of humor and asked the photographer to use his "minus40 lens"... meaning that one particular lens that made her look 40 pounds lighter. :lol:

People know what they look like, they see themselves in the mirror every day. Just be sure to concentrate on emphasizing their character and emotion more than an oversized physical trait.
Here are a few tips I learned doing portrait photography....

Large nose- shoot the face straight on, don't have the subjects body straight on though- turn their body slightly keeping their face looking at the camera. Try to avoid extreme close ups, it will just make the nose more noticeable. Try not to raise the camera, if you do, make sure the subject raises their chin.

Small chin- turn the subject face a little and have them lift their neck to raise/stick out their chin.

Chubby cheeks- raise the camera a little as to shoot down on them, but don't over do it. Raising the camera elongates the subject. This also works great for over weight subjects.

Large forehead- minimize overhead lighting....if possible, lower camera a little or have subject raise their chin. This also works for balding subjects.

For some people glass glare is a problem too. For this you would want to raise your lights as high as you can, if you're working with lighting. You can also have the subject lower their chin until you see the glare is gone. raising the camera may help a little too.

These tips will keep your subject looking natural while reducing the problem areas. Hope that helps a little
Flat lighting, well made up eyes and a well placed hair light can also distract attention from the nose.

thanks everyone for your suggestions. obviously, i still want the subject to look like herself, but just the best possible version! :)
Not sure what her body looks like but put her ina low cut top and 50% of your audiance wont even see her nose

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